Rise of the Swamp People

I don’t know what’s been going on with our pool this past week, but I keep waiting for the swamp people to rise up and start knocking on my back door. Last weekend it was slightly iffy-looking, but we called the pool people and they came out and said it was fine. Then from Tuesday morning to Wednesday afternoon it got exponentially worse – almost by the hour. We also had this little visitor.

I thought this was a giant spider until i got a better look. He's big enough to eat!!

I thought this was a giant spider until i got a better look. He was big enough to eat!!

Unfortunately he was very much dead when I fished him out. He smelled it too. Our pool had enough chlorine in it at this point (you can see how green it is, and that was last Tuesday) to kill a small child, so it’s no wonder that Mr. Crab didn’t last long. He must have been up on the road level (higher than our first floor porch) and fallen down the maintenance stairs and splashed into the water. They are on the move lately on their way down from the mountains to the sea. Crabs migrate. Who knew??

Anyway, that green you see in the picture is nothing compared to what it was over this past weekend. Like I said, swamp people were expected at any moment. The pool guy has been checking on it and trying to kill the algae with chlorine and oxygen shocks and various other treatments all week long, and when he finally decided to just drain it and start over he told us, “There’s enough chlorine in there to kill Godzilla!” I then told him that I think he’d melted Godzilla in there and that’s why it was so nasty.

Anyway. The problem is being addressed. I just wish the house owners would finally agree to just go ahead and repaint the bottom and the walls while it’s empty. They originally used this cheap paint that isn’t really meant to be in chlorinated pools, so it’s constantly flaking off and leaving a powdery residue on your skin whenever you go swimming.

I’m just hoping that whatever’s been growing in there – that is apparently so resistant to all known methods of pool treatment – isn’t going to cause the next bubonic plague or something. But, if you do hear of such a thing getting started in the Caribbean, you’ll probably know where it came from.

In other news: Our cable and internet have been off and on constantly for the last week. According to our landlord, “the power went out to where they keep the cable boxes and they have to reset them.” Who knows what that even means, but at least we’ve been better off than our friends right down the street who haven’t had internet at all for days. (The Mister gets very cranky without internet.)

Also, Meera loves her daddy. In case anyone didn’t know that.

She barely lets him get in the door at night before insisting that he snuggle. So adorable. :)

She barely lets him get in the door at night before insisting that he snuggle. So adorable. 🙂

Happy Monday. 🙂

Two Years and Counting

Well, yesterday officially makes two years that the Mister and I have been married. Part of me can’t believe it’s been that long already and part of me feels like it’s been longer than that. Even in two years I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually been called “Mrs. Chesnut,” and even though I introduce myself as a Chesnut every day, the title still catches me off guard every time. The first time was an insurance person who called to give me a quote I had asked for, and when he asked for Mrs. Chesnut I told him he had the wrong number. (I caught my mistake and we both laughed, but still.)

We’re definitely not where we thought we would be two years in, but hey – at least we got a tropical island anniversary one way or another.

We went to dinner at a place called Spice Mill out on the tip of the island’s peninsula and enjoyed a beautiful view of Nevis as the clouds turned pink overhead. The service was good, the food was impressive and the drive back under a thousand stars was beautiful. A very good night indeed.

I know that in the grand scheme of things two years isn’t much to brag about – and I pray we are blessed with many, many more – but at the same time, I also know a handful of young couples who married shortly after we did and are already divorced. It blows my mind to think it can happen that fast. How do you choose to marry someone and dedicate the rest of your life to him/her, and then four months later suddenly decide you made a mistake? What kind of unrealistic expectations do you have to have for a marriage to get three months in and decide it’s not as wonderful as you thought it would be? I have no idea. I believe that divorce is hated by God and only allowable in instances of unfaithfulness, so the Mister and I already know that is never an option. I’m stuck with him and he’s stuck with me, no matter how many times he may leave his stinky gym clothes in the bathroom floor. (And we did not live together before our wedding either, so we didn’t completely know about all the other one’s household habits beforehand.)

I also believe that love changes over time. There’s the initial fluttery feeling and the I-need-to-be-with-you-all-the-time feeling, but that goes away after a while and is (or should be) replaced by something more mellow – something that doesn’t have to be together every second and allows for two individual lives, but still feels a deep, glowing pride when you overhear someone say that your husband is the best man they’ve ever met. A “he’s mine” sort of feeling that has gotten over being possessive and clingy and crazy. Sometimes the transition from the first form to the second can cause doubts and make you wonder if you’re still even in love at all, but it’s navigating that transition that I think can make or break so many young relationships. Thankfully we got through ours pretty well and are moving on into a more adult phase of our marriage.

We are definitely through the “honeymoon period” and no longer consider ourselves to be newlyweds. I know this because we no longer try to conceal farts, and sometimes we’re just trying to gross each other out. Yeah. Definitely not newlyweds anymore.

We don’t fight, though. We get irritated and frustrated with each other over little things, but I think I can count on less than one hand the number of times I would actually define as a “fight.” I don’t know exactly why that is; it’s not like we have any secret formulas or anything. I guess we just work together well. (Now that’s not to say we won’t ever fight in the future – I’m sure we will. But up to this point it’s been fairly smooth sailing.) I know couples though that fight almost constantly. I know wives that put their husbands down, in public, in front of his friends, purely to let everyone in the room know that she is right and smart and her husband is wrong and stupid. It makes my skin crawl every time it happens and I have to force myself not to go over and give the beaten husband a hug. Oftentimes – at least in the situation I’m thinking of – he didn’t even do or say anything to warrant such a reaction. That’s just the way his wife is. I can’t imagine living that way, and I’m glad the Mister is such a patient personality. (Although keep in mind that patient personalities tend to explode behind closed doors, and the results can be pretty scary. The Mister knocked a clock off the kitchen wall one time with how hard he slammed our front door.)

I guess I say all that to say this —

To all you newlywed, almost-wed and wishing-you-hadn’t-wed couples out there, whether I know you personally or not:

Be excited about your wedding, your marriage and the rest of your lives together – dream big dreams and make big plans – but also realize there will be stinky clothes in the bathroom floor. There will be dishes piling up in the sink; there will be slammed doors and hasty words and days when you wonder if you made the right choice. There will come a time when you look back on the sparkle and butterflies of your dating days and wonder if there’s something wrong with your marriage because that is gone. But don’t let that moment of doubt ruin a relationship that God intends to last for the rest of your lives. You chose the person you are with for a reason, and for better or for worse the two of you have to figure out how to get through whatever obstacles may come. Whether you have to spend a night apart or even seek professional counseling, do what you have to do to make sure that one day doesn’t determine the path of the rest of your lives. Love takes work. It isn’t always sparkle and giggles and romance – as the Mister says, “it’s not all sunshine and daisies” – but it is a choice you make when you wake up every morning. Some days that choice will be harder to make than on other days, but you have to keep making it. Choose your love and love your choice. All my best wishes for you always.

-the Mrs.

wedding picture

wedding picture

bridal portrait

wedding picture

Rush Orders

You really have to forgive me for being behind with my usual Monday post. I could make a lot of excuses, but the real reason is just that I never seem to know what day it is anymore. Our daily routine is a bit different with the Mister being a part-time student this semester, but I think he is gradually getting used to the details of being home during the day.

For example, he’s learned that you need to open both the top and bottom porch doors to get the most airflow through the house or it gets stuffy by about 10 a.m. And he’s learned that the dog will not poop while on her leash, even when she really, really needs to, so you have to wait until the yard is empty and then let her off long enough to get the job done before she explodes. He’s also found out that I keep the bedroom porch doors closed every other Monday morning so the pool maintenance people can check the pump without being eaten alive by our dog. It’s a long list of details that keep this place running peacefully.

I’ve been working on rush crochet creation orders for the past two weeks for a young lady who ordered six animals last semester before finding out that she has to return home for family reasons. She’s been very considerate – letting me know as soon as she found out when she would be leaving – and would still like to purchase as many of her animals as I can finish by the end of next week. Because she’s been such a good customer and hasn’t been demanding, like so many would be in this situation, I really want to get all her animals finished. Sadly, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I finished #4 this morning and hope to start #5 in time to finish, but #6 – a barn owl – is definitely not going to be done. I feel badly about this, but I’ve been working hard on them and there’s only so many stitches I can do in a day.

Here are some pictures of what I’ve finished in the last two weeks. (Pattern links in the captions for those who might be interested.)

crochet turtle toy

Turtle with removable shell – next time I’ll use elastic bands or something instead of the button vest; that part was too complicated.

Elephant

Elephant – his back legs are weighted down with heavy metal buttons to help him stand up on his own without his head pulling him over.

This monkey lovey blanket – a combination of an animal head and a granny square baby blanket design – I did over a weekend in an effort to work on something different. I love how he turned out, and the young lady who ordered him has requested another!

monkey head for lovey blanket

Monkey head for lovey blanket

Coming down the pipe next are some Star Wars characters, a penguin, a donkey, a sea turtle and some cows. Wish me luck!

Well, that’s a wrap, folks!

Well, Operation In-Law Week (I think that’s what I was calling it, right?) has come to an end, and it will definitely be one to remember. In addition to the fishing expedition from last week’s post, we also climbed (literally, climbed. It was my fault.) the mountain to Brimstone Fortress, ran through some sprinklers at Caribelle Batik, rode on a car ferry, got lost in Nevis (the map’s fault, not mine), ate a fantastic hamburger covered in goat cheese, found a load of blue sea glass buried on the beach, talked to some goats (they talked back), and tried not to embarrass ourselves after accidentally eating REALLY REALLY spicy conch at a very fancy restaurant. It was a blast. 

And I. Am. Exhausted.

I don’t think I’ve been out of the house that much in one week since we arrived on the island last April and got forced into mandatory fun for orientation. But it was a fun week overall and I’m very glad the in-laws had the chance to come. They claim to have really enjoyed themselves – despite the island driving – and will probably be talking about this for months and years to come. There’s even going to be a movie made about their foreign expedition: “Country Mice Leave Home,” look for it in theaters near you! (I’m kidding, you guys are fantastic. :])

The vacation is over, however, and today was the first day of summer semester classes. So here’s to getting back to reality and the slow passage of island time. Like I’ve been telling the Mister a lot lately, one semester at a time and pretty soon it’ll all be behind us.

Happy Monday statesiders. 🙂